www.3RDWORLDTECH.org

Missions

ECO-FRIENDLY LIVELIHOODS
"Let’s face it. If people can make money, they will nurture the enterprise that creates income.”

3rd World Tech's programs focus on creating skills that enabling students to earn a living. There are both long and short-term goals. For instance, an Acacia tree planted today for about 44 cents can be worth $100 in 8 years.  It will arrest erosion and produce shade, which in turn allows grass to grow which is suitable for grazing.  As it the tree grows, branches can be cut to make charcoal for fires without killing the tree. Students each plant their own tree when they begin school. They learn to care for it.  After effectively learning this, they are provided more trees to take home and plant, allowing parents to see first-hand the benefit and money making potential of such programs. We believe statistically, if each person plants 6 trees, but “harvest” trees rather than cutting them down, we can begin to reverse a great portion of the wholesale deforestation observed in the African Savannah.  At 3rd World Tech our mission is to do this in such a way that people profit from the effort.   

Economics/Banking  

Community members who support our projects and parents who cannot pay for school fees, school uniforms other school related expenses can donate a goat to the school ”goat bank.”  The goat bank works in a currency that pastoralists are accustomed to…livestock. Offspring are used to finance various projects through “donation and procreation.”   Like trees, you can make a deposit and watch your investment grow. In turn, our schools have already traded goats for school improvements and other necessities.  3rd World Tech has the opportunity to work with children throughout primary school (grades 1-8), promoting, from a very early age, an understanding of very basic business skills and the benefits of long term planning.

Beekeeping 

In some regions we have elephants. An elephant can eat a garden in a matter of minutes.  We have discovered that, not only do bees tend to repel elephants, but in many places beekeeping is a tradition. Even unrefined honey commands a high price in local markets and refined honey can be sold outside the community for 3 to 4 times more.  A complement of hives can produce 20 to 30 kilos of honey 4 times a year.  Not only that, bees pollinate. Pollination promotes reforestation. 

Traditional Crafts 

30 plus year ago, our chairman developed cooperatives of tribal women to make baskets and handicrafts. Each woman could be paid for items without leaving home. The products were then gathered and carried out by foot, by oxcarts and/or “matatus” to collection points. They were then sold to stores in the United States and Europe.3rd World Tech sponsors students who work with local artisans to learn the art of traditional beadwork, leatherwork, basket making and so on. While in currently in its naissance, we hope to further develop handicraft training and markets for products. We are already collecting our first beading samples. Look for more on our website.

Trees

 Environmental degradation and deforestation is rampant in pastoralist areas.  As 3rd World Tech operates almost exclusively in areas without electricity, firewood is the principal source of energy. When trees are cut the grasses beneath die. Overgrazing leads to erosion and the area becomes a dust bowl.Through our partnership with Woodlands 2000, we are planting trees, thousands of them.  A sapling can cost between 2 cents and 44 cents. In 8 to 10 years each tree can be worth many multiples of that. Each student is given a tree to plant in the first grade and more subsequently.  First, we ring the schoolyard in trees. These reduce dust which causes eye and lung problems;  provide shade for vegetables and grasses; and our Moringa Oleifera trees not only assist in water purification but are harvested and added to school food as a nutritional supplement. For more mature trees, branches of more than 1 inch in diameter can be harvested and used to make charcoal. The benefit to the community and environment is enormous, creating sustainability and supporting livelihoods.

Kitchen Gardens
 
Schools in Kenya are not only responsible for feeding their students lunch, but boarding students require 3 meals a day.  Due to nutritional concerns outside the school, the school meal should be the most nutritious meal of the day. Frankly, they are not. 3rd Word Tech vegetable gardens in each school, The gardens are planted with crops such as spinach, peppers, cabbages and carrots. In the process, students learn agricultural skills and the school is able to add needed nutrition to its less than substantial meals.
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